Mexican Bus Stop

I took this photo while on a business trip in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon (Mexico). The man sitting at the bus stop and reading a paper just struck me as a possible good photo. The horizontal and vertical lines also made for good composition. I placed the main subject (the man) at the 1/3 mark to the right of the frame. I shot this from across the street at 200mm (300mm at 35mm equivalent), and I had to shoot wide open at that focal length at a shutter speed of 1/20 seconds. The shutter speed was way too slow for the focal length, but it turned out okay anyways. The hardest part of getting this shot was waiting for the sidewalk to be clear of other people AND having the road clear of passing by cars — but I managed.

A SIDE NOTE: This is my first real attempt at publishing a “people shot”. I’m offering prints of the photo for sale, and I’ve been hesitant to do that in the past because I was worried about not having a model release. After doing some research, I’m fairly confident that I can sell the art prints without a model release — I just can’t offer it up for commercial use. If this isn’t the case, and somebody out there knows better than I do, please let me know.

Mexican Bus Stop Process

The JPEG (1) turned out fairly well exposed, but it was a little murky in color. The processed RAW file (2) has a little better coloration, but I didn’t go all out on it since I knew I’d be doing a black & white. The black and white conversion (3) was done with CS3’s Black & White tool at 71% red, 149% yellow, 233% green, -83% cyan, 57% blue, and 29% magenta. This combination gave me the tones in the background and on the man’s skin that I was looking for. After the conversion, I applied a curves adjustment layer (4) to darken the shadows and mid-tones while maintaining the highlights — so I used two control points. At the end, I sharpened (5) using the Unsharp Mask at 85%, 2.4 pixels, and a threshold of 2.

Mexican Bus Stop

** You can also see this photo on Flickr **

Photo by Brian Auer
06/08/07 Monterrey, Mexico
Mexican Bus Stop
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Konica Minolta AF DT 18-200
300mm equiv * f/6.7 * 1/20s * ISO100